KOREAN CONGLOMERATE Samsung is getting into the consumer memory card market with the launch of a range of SD, microSD and Compact Flash (CF) cards.
The company has partnered with Kondor to launch a range of branded premium memory cards under the name Samsung 'Plus'.
With annual worldwide NAND flash memory revenues hitting around $12 billion this year, and demand projected to more than double from 2008 to 2011, Samsung wants to grab its slice of the pie.
"The market for memory cards continues to grow in leaps and bounds as consumers push for added storage in smart phones and other mobile devices," said Stefanie Summerfield, head of business development at Samsung.
According to Summerfield, Samsung's existing expertise in the memory arena makes it an ideal candidate for extra storage aimed at premium devices such as smart phones and high-performance digital still cameras.
"Our cards also provide consumers with more of the outstanding reliability that they have come to expect from Samsung semiconductor products," she added.
For the more fashion conscious, the devices will be sold in a brushed silver metallic design or a natural beige epoxy compound casing and, for the hard-nosed engineering minded, the cards will feature read speeds of up to 17MBps for the SD cards and 45MBps for the CF units.
This isn't actually Samsung's first foray into the memory card market - the company has been making white-label digital memory cards for several other memory card companies for a while now - it's just the first time the cards will carry the Samsung logo.
According to the company, the new cards are shock-resistant, water-resistant and guard against magnetic interference. The CF cards come in 4GB and 8GB versions and the SD cards, which are class six rated, come in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities.
The cards are available now in France, Germany and the UK but will be flogged in other countries in the near future. Pricing details were not available at the time of writing, but the marketing focus on a premium brand positioning means they probably won't be cheap. µ